Bonfires are Mesmerizing in Slo-Mo

The videos below are of the annual Mendota Heights, MN Bonfire on Halloween night in 2014.

These three videos showcase the differences between the video modes on the new iPhone 6:
1) Normal mode
2) Time Lapse mode
3) Slow-motion (slo-mo) mode - my favorite!

This bonfire has been a tradition in my neighborhood since I was a boy. It is organized and sponsored by the Mendota Heights Firefighters. The Firefighters show off their latest trucks and provide free hot dogs and soda.
The morning after...

5 reasons I will miss my friend and colleague Jeff Sauer

I met Jeff Sauer about 5 years ago and he has become a good friend and respected colleague of mine. He has lived in Minnesota for as long as I'v known him, but now he and his wife  moving to the West Coast.
"Go then, there are other worlds than these."- The Gunslinger
There is a lot of things I can say about Jeff. I consider him a true Renaissance Man - "a person with many talents or areas of knowledge". Surrounding myself with people smarter than me has been a successful career strategy and and hanging with Jeff certainly fills the bill.

Here are only 5 of the many reasons I will miss my friend and colleague Jeff Sauer:
  • Meat - Especially pork, the other white meat. Jeff really knows his way around a BBQ smoker and his annual Porkapalooza is the meat highlight of the year.
  • Advice - all kinds of advice on business, technology, digital marketing, world travel, food, and cooking. Really! He has many web properties in which he dispenses this valuable advice. 
  • Travel tales - it might be about Oktoberfest in Munich, a honeymoon in Mauritius or aerial photography from his personal drone over South Africa. It's always a good tale.
  • Sense of humor - Jeff's sense of humor rings out with every blog post or online article he writes. His repartee in person is something to behold, especially at MnSearch board meetings when he has a foil by the name of Aaron Weiche to counter.
  • His "Try Anything and Everything" philosophy on approaching life and the value he puts on people as individuals I will especially miss.

All-in-all Jeff simply makes everything suck less. Therefore I bestow to Jeff's website - at least for now. This way I create my own personal avenue to share life with Jeff online even if I can't see him IRL when I'd like to. Long days and pleasant nights to you my friend.

"Any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with." ~Douglas Adams

Plan a Flavor Tripping Party

Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum) is a cranberry-sized West African berry that that numbs your sour and bitter tastebuds for a hour or so after eating it. When eaten this fruit causes bitter and sour foods (such as lemons and limes) to taste sweet. The berry contains an active glycoprotein molecule called miraculin. Miraculin is also available in tablet form

Here is a great article to follow as you plan your own Flavor Tripping party: Flavor-Tripping: a Whole New Way to Taste!

Here are a few examples that flavor-trippers have reported:

  • Apple cider vinegar tastes similar to apple juice
  • Lemons taste super sweet like candy
  • Guinness beer tastes like chocolate milk. Other beers are interesting too.
  • Under-ripe fruit tastes like the ripest, sweetest fruit you’ll ever eat
  • Limes taste like key-lime pie
  • Whole grain bread suddenly becomes healthy cake
  • Dry white wines taste like a Riesling and reds taste more like a port.

Lemon Balsamic Soda Recipe

Charge a bottle of water with your SodaStream. Drizzle about 1+ teaspoons of ReaLemon into the soda. Then drizzle about a teaspoon of 25 year old balsamic vinegar into the soda and cap. Shake gently and enjoy a very refreshingly different, ultra-low calorie soda pop. 
Important! - you must use the more expensive aged balsamic vinegar for this recipe. NOT your everyday grocery-variety balsamic. 

New Word Cloud Tools!

OK, I have a real treat for you today – New Word Cloud Tools!

Perhaps you have seen some of the word clouds I have created to make a point, illustrate an idea or analyze a passage of text. A word cloud visually gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. They are effective to use in presentations.

For years I have been using Wordle. It’s fast and simple to use but it is Flash-based and has limited customizations. 

I used Tagxedo to create this word Cloud of the Medtronic Mission in the shape of a Neurostimulator.

For more ideas on where you can apply these tools refer to“101 Ways to Use Tagxedo”.

How to Make a Great First Impression

How do you make a great first impression to colleagues and subject matter experts across your profession and across the globe?

I have met many of my colleagues virtually on social media channels like LinkedIn or Twitter before I met them in real life (IRL). Then when I meet them we already have some things in common because we are already familiar with one another. It's part of my personal brand.

Did you know that - “the mere-exposure effect is a real psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. In social psychology, this effect is sometimes called the familiarity principle. In studies of interpersonal attraction, the more often a person is seen by someone, the more pleasing and likeable that person appears to be.” –Wikipedia

Get known, get liked, get great advice from your peers. It all starts with a good social media profile.

Pearls in the necklace of your life

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin--real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to get through first, some unfinished business, time to be served, a debt to be paid, then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. -Alfred D'Sousa
How you handle life's obstacles are the pearls in the necklace of your life.